The Apple Vision Pro stands as one of the year’s most anticipated devices, marking Apple’s initial venture into the realms of virtual and augmented reality. Positioned as a potential flagship in a product line aimed at captivating a broader audience with spatial computing and wearable displays, there are key aspects to consider before making a purchase:
1. Not a regular VR headset: The Vision Pro, although categorized as a VR headset, introduces the concept of “spatial computing,” blending elements of both VR and AR. It features a dedicated TrueDepth camera and LiDAR sensor for precise mapping of the surroundings, allowing users to overlay virtual elements onto their actual environment.
2. Not for Walking Around Outside: While the headset provides awareness of your surroundings, it is not designed for outdoor mobility. Obscuring vision, even with a camera view, poses safety concerns, and the limited battery life, approximately two to 2.5 hours, restricts extended use.
3. No Controllers: Unlike traditional VR headsets with physical controllers, the Vision Pro relies solely on hand gestures and sophisticated cameras and sensors. It incorporates inward-facing cameras and sensors to track eye movements, offering a hands-free interaction experience.
4. Built on macOS and iOS: The Vision Pro operates on the new visionOS, a system built on macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, tailored for spatial analysis and 3D image generation. It features an interactive interface with floating windows and has access to Apple TV, FaceTime, Messages, Mail, Photos, Safari, and its own App Store.
5. Ready For Movies: The Apple TV app is readily available on the Vision Pro, providing users with the option to watch movies and TV shows in a virtual theatre or other customizable environments. It supports various streaming services and offers a cinematic experience.
6. As Powerful as an iPad Pro: Powering the Vision Pro is Apple’s M2 chip, known for its potency. Assisted by the R1 chip, a dedicated processor for spatial computing, the M2 ensures robust performance, comparable to that of an iPad Pro, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro.
7. Where and How to Buy: Priced at $3,499, the Vision Pro is available through Apple, with select Apple Stores offering it since Feb. 2. The exclusivity indicates Apple’s tight control over the product’s launch, with limited availability through other retailers.
Prospective buyers should weigh these factors to make an informed decision about the Apple Vision Pro.